Category Archives: 2 Henry VI

2HenryVI by the Numbers: overall

The Second Part of Henry the Sixth

  • 3161 total lines; longer than average play, longer than average history (average play: 2777; average history: 3009)
  • At 15 and 6 lines, respectively, Act Four Scene Six and Act Five Scene Two are the shortest of their kind in the Canon
  • At 383, 223, and 83 lines, respectively, Act Three Scene One, Act Four Scene Seven, and Act Four Scene Nine are the longest of their kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 666 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 590, average history: 612)
  • Act Two: 518 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average history (average play: 568, average history: 621)
  • Act Three: 834 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 576, average history: 632)
  • Act Four: 801 lines; longer than average, longer than average history (average play: 563, average history: 651)
  • Act Five: 342 lines; shorter than average, shorter than average comedy (average play: 480, average history: 493)
  • 526 lines of prose (16.64% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, and 1HenryVI: 0.37%]): reflecting less aristocratic roles
  • 100 rhyming lines (3.16% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 20.10%, Titus Andronicus: 2.42%, The Taming of the Shrew: 3.93%, and 1HenryVI: 9.79%])
  • 25 scenes; more than average (average play: 21; average history: 24)
  • 67 characters (more than any other play): more than average, more than average history (average play: 36, average history: 48)

Podcast 21: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth Wrap-Up

This week’s podcast includes a conclusion to our discussion of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, including some castings, an overview and a critique, as well as a stage review of the California Lutheran University’s production of Pericles; plus, our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Jack Cade… the great-great-not-so-great grandson of Jack Falstaff (or is that the other way around?)

When we meet the rebellious Jack Cade for the first time, in Act Four, Scene Two of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, he is a purely comic figure.  Something completely different from any other character in this play (and quite honestly unlike any character we’ve seen thus far in the Canon… no other character thus far has had Cade’s bizarre combination of charm, bravado, ego, and self-deprecation (the closest we come in the plays we’ve studied thus far are Petruchio [charm, bravado, ego, but no self-deprecation], and possibly Titus (bravado, ego, slight self-deprecation, but certainly no charm).  Cade’s unlike anything to come before, but in him we get a glimpse of the future in another great anti-hero: Sir John Falstaff.
Continue reading Jack Cade… the great-great-not-so-great grandson of Jack Falstaff (or is that the other way around?)

Who, Part Two

Last month, we took a day to discuss who might be the main character of 1HenryVI… and to no success, leaving us pretty unsatisfied by the play as a whole.  So this month, as we lurch toward Thanksgiving, let’s see if we can give thanks for having a protagonist in The Second Part of Henry the Sixth.

We have quite a few characters to choose from, as this play has SIXTY-SEVEN (count’em!) characters, the most of any play in the Canon.

Let’s take the major characters in order of the number of speeches each has…
Continue reading Who, Part Two

A Trip to Bawdy on the Soul Train

Every month, I delve a little deeper into my sophomore boy-mind, and pull out the bawdy stuff from the play of the month, usually focusing on a particular scene or character.

This month, with The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, I’m going to approach it a little differently.  I want to start off with a quick catalog of the “naughty bits” then pull them together for a more generalized statement about the use of bawdiness in the play.
Continue reading A Trip to Bawdy on the Soul Train

Podcast 20: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth DVD Reviews

This week’s podcast includes a continuation of our discussion of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, including DVD reviews of two different productions, as well as a stage review of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater touring production of Love’s Labor’s Lost; plus, our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
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Sources

As we noted last month, according to most critics, the source material for most of Shakespeare’s histories (including The Second Part of Henry the Sixth) was Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland.  Holinshed was only one of a three main authors of the work (the other two being William Harrison and Richard Stanyhurst), and their work was first printed in 1577, about fifteen years before the composition of 2HenryVI.
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I didn’t know…

In Act One, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, Gloucester describes Suffolk as the one who “rules the roast” (I.i.106).  I had always heard the term “rule the roost,” as in a hen-house, to describe a man who ruled over his household (but not having huge power).  It seems that the latter term is derived from the former which has the meaning “to have full sway or authority; to be master” (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM [v. 4.0]).  If to rule the roast is to dominate, to sit at the head of the table of, a grand opulent palace, then to rule the roost would be much less.

of no import… just kinda interesting…

Meet the New Salisbury and Warwick

Remember when we were discussing Act One, Scene One of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, and I commented on Salisbury and Warwick:

Both Salisbury and Warwick (father and son) bemoan the loss of territories won in war (and here Shakespearean history falters again: these two speak as if they were the military Salisbury and Warwick of The First Part… only they are NOT: they are the sons-in-law of their respective title-holders in the first play… remember THAT Salisbury was killed in Act One of the play, and THAT Warwick (in reality) died before the end of the play… THIS Warwick was only 17 years old at the time of Henry and Margaret’s wedding (so in no possible way did he “win them both” [I.i.116] himself).

Let’s explain how all of this went down.
Continue reading Meet the New Salisbury and Warwick

Podcast 19: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth (The second part of the plot)

This week’s podcast includes a continuation of our discussion of The Second Part of Henry the Sixth, including a plot synopsis of the second half of the play, and our usual recap of this week’s blog entries.
Continue reading Podcast 19: The Second Part of Henry the Sixth (The second part of the plot)

Women in Henry VI: witches and bitches

A couple of months back, when we were in the midst of The Taming of the Shrew, we discussed the difficulty of the play, especially as it relates to the depiction of women.  The play, especially in recent decades, has been seen as a horrible example of dramatic misogyny.

Two months down the line, however, as we find ourselves deep in the Henry the Sixth histories, I see that women actually had it pretty good at Shakespeare’s hands back in Taming, for what have we seen since?
Continue reading Women in Henry VI: witches and bitches

Shakespeare’s English Succession of Kings: a reminder

just wanted to remind you about the

The Bill / Shakespeare Project:
Shakespeare’s English Succession of Kings

I still haven’t gotten around to publishing play-specific PDFs of family trees… just haven’t had the time (and I’m not sure when that WON’T be the case)…

Regardless, I hope this Flash page helps with your reading of The Second Part of King Henry VI